Girl in Art Lab

Take time to focus on creativity at the Blanton’s Art Lab.
Photo by Kelly James

I’m sure many children across Austin are celebrating the end of school. I know as a kid I always looked forward to my summer break. And not because summer meant doing nothing but because it meant learning the things I wanted to learn. My two part agenda for the break was loading up and reading all the new, cool young adult novels I could carry and making art projects of my own design.

Now that I’m an adult, I want to give families in our community the chance to do just what I loved so much as a kid—make cool stuff that they want to make. That’s why I’m excited about Art Lab, an open studio space for families on Thursdays and Fridays filled with all kinds of enticing art materials to play with. Walk into the Art Lab and you will notice displays of art projects and candy jars of beautiful and colorful objects just waiting to be fashioned into an art creation.

Vija Celmins Eraser

Vija Celmins
Eraser, 1967
acrylic on balsa wood

That same spirit of fun and playfulness with materials is also why I’ve been counting the days until the exhibition Lifelike opens. (This whimsical exhibition, organized by the Walker Art Center, is on view at the Blanton June 23 until Sept. 22.) So many of the artists in this exhibition create art that looks like one thing but is actually made of something else. Vija Celmins’ work Eraser seems to be an over-sized Pink Pearl eraser like you might find in any elementary school classroom but is in fact made of balsa wood and acrylic paint. I also can’t wait to see Jonathan Seliger’s work called Heartland that looks like a very convincing 8 ½ foot tall milk carton; however, in reading up on it, I found out that it’s made of bronze. Really? Wow.

Beginning Thursday, June 27 the Blanton will offer a new program for families with kids ages 8 to 12 named Deeper Dives. The idea is to dive right into looking at the art in Lifelike together and to create art inspired by what families saw in the galleries. And the first Dive will be inspired by Rirkrit Tiravanija’s humorous sculpture titled Young man, if my wife makes it…, a work of art that you might easily mistake for a bowl of noodles. Join us for this program, you’ll be invited to experience some amazing art and get a chance to make your own fake food. Or maybe your own fake vomit.

It’s just the kind of fun kids (and maybe adults) want in the summer—stimulating, surprising, and a little silly.  — Jennifer Garner, Blanton Manager of School and Family Programs

Summer Family Programs 2013

Art Lab
Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30AM–12:30PM from June 6–August 9
Dell Classroom, Smith Building
All ages
Drop by the Art Lab, an open studio that invites you to experiment with enticing materials and explore your own creative process.
Story Time Tours
Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30AM from June 6–August 9
Meet in the atrium
Recommended for kids age 3–7 and their adult companions
Museum Admission for children age 12 and under is always free!Encourage young art lovers to look carefully and make connections between art, story, and life on these 30-minutes thematic tours. Space is limited. Tour tickets available at the Visitor Services Desk.
Deeper Dives: Lifelike
Thursdays and Fridays at 1PM from June 27–August 9
Meet in the Atrium
Recommended for families with kids age 8–13
Explore Lifelike, the Blanton’s special exhibition of contemporary art intended to fool the eye. These 90-minute experiences combine close looking, conversation, and the making of related art projects. Check the calendar for each week’s art project. Practice your own sleight of hand! Space is limited to 15 participants. Tickets available at the Visitor Services Desk.
*Note: The Blanton will be closed on Thursday, July 4.
What to read next:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *